Dining & Nightlife in Havana
Havana has a number of great restaurants and night clubs. Here are just a few to get you started and Maria & Cesar will be able to assist you with more recommendations and reservations.
Restaurants: Vista Mar +53 7 203 8328, La Guarida +53 7 866 9047, Rio Mar +53 7 209 4838, La Fontana +53 7 202 8337 & 207 8231, San Cristobal, +53 7 867 9109 & 860 1705, Fabrica del Arte/La Cocinero +53 7 832 2355, Nazdarovie +53 7 860 2947, La Atelier +53 7 836 2025, Le Channsonier +53 7 832 1576, El Templete +53 7 204 8164. Nightclubs: Tropicana, Buena Vista Social Club Show, Cabaret La Parisienne, Don Cangrejo.
Places of Interest in Havana
Old Havana city tour walking around the main streets and squares (The Cathedral, San Francisco de Assis, Plaza Vieja, Chocolate Museum) of "Havana Vieja" and stopping to have a refreshing cocktail in El Floridita or La Bodeguita del Medio.
Home of the famous Cuban artist Jose Fuster boasting stunning decor and ceramic ornaments. He is the winner of a number of Cuban art awards and other recognitions. His pieces can be found at the Center for Cuban Studies, New York, & The Museum of Fine Arts in Havana, among others.
A Lovely drive along the Rio Almendares where some of Havana’s famous flora and fauna have been preserved. Known as the "The Green Lung of the Capital Havana", through which the Rio Almendares flows into the Straits of Florida.
Plaza de la Revolucion
Historic square with a famous monument to José Martí. Scene of major acts and events of the Cuban revolution. Plaza constructed on the highest elevation in Havana.
The Statue of Christ Overlooking Havana Harbor
Across the bay of Havana, crossing the tunnel linking OLD HAVANA to the “White House”. Majestic and colossal statue located at the entrance of the port of Havana. Viewing point where you can see one of the most beautiful views of Havana, especially its Old Havana and the harbor.
Lunch in a Traditional Cuban Paladar
"The Cannonade" was the name given by "the Fortress of San Carlos de la Cabaña" where one of the city’s famous traditions is performed: The shooting of the cannon from the fort every night at 9:00 pm.
Havana Craft Fair where you can buy souvenirs and Cuban art & handicrafts.
Hotel Nacional de Cuba
A UNESCO national monument. and one of the most classical and historical hotels of Havana with its luxury, elegance, distinction and first-class service, mostly intact after 6 decades.
Havana Club Rum Museum
Located on Avenida del Puerto in Old Havana. Its main attraction is learning about the cultural history of the Cuban rum brand - Havana Club. The brand was founded in 1878 and is considered one of the hundred best in the world. You will have the opportunity of tasting some of Cuba’s finest rums.
Ernest Hemingway’s Home
Known as Finca Vigia, this property is located in the town of San Francisco de Paula. It was turned into a museum on July 21, 1962 and is the first institution created in the world to help spread the word about the life and work of the winner of the Nobel Prize for Literature in 1954.
Torreon de Cojimar
Cojimar is a small fishing village located on the opposite side of the tunnel under the Bay of Havana where Hemingway developed his love for the sport of fishing. This quaint village was also the setting for his most famous and poetic novel, The Old Man and the Sea. In Cojimar, you can dine at Las Terrazas restaurant, where Hemingway used to eat with his friend, Gregoire the captain of the yacht Pilar, with whom he went fishing.
Playa Santa Maria
A short 20 minute drive from Miramar, Santa Maria Beach is a beautiful caribbean beach with white sand and turquoise water. You can lounge on the beach and enjoy a local dish of Pargo (Red Snapper) with rice and beans.
National Museum of Art
The institution responsible for restoring, preserving, promoting and studying the treasured works of art that represent the cultural heritage of Cuba. In addition, it houses collections of ancient art, European collections, and features some of the most famous Cuban art teachers of all time, along with exhibitions of artistic creations of national and foreign artists. It also houses a library specializing in visual arts and a large collection of magazines and catalogs.
Sightseeing in Havana
A typical 4-5 day tour of Havana
At night, after dinner in La Guarida restaurant, we suggest visiting San Carlos de la Cabaña Fortress to enjoy the traditional Shooting of the Cannon ceremony beginning each evening at 8:30pm.
Old Havana city tour in the morning: walk around the main streets and squares (The Cathedral, San Francisco de Assis, Plaza Vieja, Chocolate Museum) of world famous "Havana Vieja" and enjoy a refreshing cocktail in Hemingway's favorite "watering holes" - El Floridita or La Bodeguita del Medio. For lunch we suggest restaurant Al Carbon. In the afternoon, enjoy a New Havana panoramic city tour for two hours in old Classic cars taking in the sights at the Revolution Square, Havana Forest, Miramar neighborhood up to Fuster Galery in Jaimanitas town. At night, we suggest attending a nightclub or music theater performance.
Excursion to Viñales (see description below) visiting tobacco plantations, the prehiistoric Indian Mural, canoe ride inside the Indian Cave and for the adventurous, a zip-line Canopy tour. Lunch will be a variety of tasty local dishes prepared in a "ranchon" (thatched-roof open air structure) in a beautiful outdoor setting such as Finca Paraiso. At night, we suggest Buena Vista Social Club Concert to enjoy Cuban traditional music and dance.
In the morning departure for a beach day in Veradero (2.5 hours drive from Havana -see description below) or Santa Maria del Mar (on the east of Havana, 40 min from the centre of town). In the afternoon we may visit the San José Handcraft Market for souvenirs.
A Trip to One of Cuba’s Most Famous Beaches - Varadero
- A two and a half hour drive from Havana, Varadero is one of the most spectacular peninsulas in the Caribbean offering beautiful white sand beaches and calm seas.
- On the way to Varadero from Havana, visit the viewpoint of the bridge of Bacunayagua, one of the seven wonders of Cuban civil engineering. It is the highest bridge in Cuba measuring 103.50m from the river in the valley up to the highway. Here you can enjoy the spectacular view, cocktail bar, souvenirs, etc.
- Varadero Beach is considered a Special Territory of Cuba, and is the closest point to the United States. This beach is captivating with its fine white sands and blue waters, warm and clear all year round, where bathers can venture out in the shallow water many meters from the shore.
- Visit the Dolphinarium to get an up close look at the beautiful and friendly mammals
- Visit to Josone Park. This is a great botanical garden with an immense variety of natural beauty from tiny violets to huge creepers, all in a peaceful and relaxing environment. Paddle boats can be rented to tour the beautiful lagoon surrounded by lush vegetation.
Sightseeing in Western Cuba
Pinar del Rio
- Visit to the exceptionally beautiful Viñales Valley, a national monument protected by the constitution and declared a World Heritage Site by UNESCO.
- Visit "Cueva del Indio" where you have the opportunity to ride in canoes on an underground river through this ancient cave used by the Carib Indians.
- Visit the Pre-History Mural painted on the face of a cliff exhibiting the evolution of natural life in Cuba.
- Hotel Los Jasmines & the spectacular overlook, “Mirador del Valle”, where unique mountain island outcrops called “Mogotes” punctuate the Valley floor.
- Tour Pinar del Rio’s famous tobacco plantations and cigar rolling factories
Soroa Natural Park Biosphere Reserve.
- Enjoy the beautiful work that nature created in this rugged place, surrounded by mountains and rivers. “El Salto", also known as The Rainbow of Cuba, is a 22 meter-high waterfall caused by the Manantiales River, and is one of the wonders of Cuban geography.
- You can visit Cloud Castle medieval building that stands on the hill of El Fuerte, which houses a number of antiques purchased at auction belonging to true European medieval castles.
- Orquideario is Soroa's orchid garden. The botanical garden is currently a working scientific center belonging to the University of Pinar del Rio who's mission is the preservation and enjoyment of the environment and the conservation of Cuban orchids.
- Horseback riding and swimming in the river are just some of the many activities offered at Soroa.